Caroline’s Success Story
Last summer Caroline had saved up some money to buy herself a computer with the idea of using it to play solitaire. Around this time Caroline had also been doing a lot of on call work within the agency as our receptionist on the days when Sylvia was away on holiday, or fell ill. After working a few months at the front desk, Caroline quickly realized reception work was her calling. She got to interact with lots of people face-to-face, as well as on the phone. She really enjoys working with people and seemed to get a lot of people time at the front desk.
Caroline had mentioned this to her worker Tara, who then connected Caroline to the Planning department. After a bit of brainstorming, and a bit of support from her Planner, Robin, Caroline had self-directed her own one-page profile using person centered tools. Caroline identified that she needed to work on her computer literacy to be an effective receptionist. The Recreation Coordinator, Carlie Penney, connected Caroline to the East Parry Sound Literacy Council to sign up for some computer courses.
Once a week Caroline would go to the Literacy Center to work with a computer teacher. It was easy for Caroline to meet and connect with people thanks to the classrooms relaxed and friendly setting. The teacher provided a great pace for everyone so it was easy for everyone to follow along together as a group. Over time, Caroline learned the basics of email, how to navigate through windows to find various folders and files, and learned a great deal about the internet and the worlds of possibilities and information that it opens up for her. Caroline now has her own email address which she now uses to stay connected with her friends and family. It was becoming quite clear that using the internet was opening up the world to her as a new way to interact with people.
Through the months working on her computer skills, Caroline then decided it was time for her to find a job, on her own. She has been offered a position with city council as advisor on disability rights and issues, and a paid job working in a deli which offers lots of interactive time with customers and a lot of new coworkers to network with. She is now also using her newfound administrative skills in her role as secretary to the local People First Chapter.
Caroline story is a great example of how a simple one-page profile, hard work, a well connected team and a bit of luck can open up a whole world of possibility. She has become a visible member of her community and is seen as a leader on disability issues, the go-to person for local news and an inspiration to those in her computer class.
Congrats Caroline! We can’t wait to see what new barriers you will tackle, the minds you will change, and that ham and swiss sandwich you promised us from the deli.